There was a time shortly after my divorce that I began running again. It had nothing to do with weight loss or staying in shape. I ran because it was my release. After work, I would go for a hard run around the neighborhood. It allowed me space to disconnect from work and reconnect with being a mom. I loved running then.
Winter came, I’m a fair-weather girl, so I stopped. Weight gain came because I was in a happy new relationship.
Several years later, more pounds than I wanted to be carrying around, Matthew proposed to me. Elated to be marrying him, but very unhappy with my appearance, I began Kickboxing 3 times a week.
I did it all in hopes of looking great on my wedding day. I revisited running, I even ran a 10 k around that time.
And as you know, if you don’t enjoy an exercise no matter your motivation, you’ll sooner or later stop (more likely sooner).
I was motivated by the desire to lose weight. Sometimes I did, sometimes I didn’t. I never really enjoyed or loved either of those exercises. I never thanked my body for the effort, I continued to talk bad to her. To tell her she wasn’t all I wanted her to be.
I’ve always loved yoga, mainly because it quieted my mind and gave me a space to connect with my soul.
When I decided to begin my yoga teacher training, I did so because I wanted to deepen my spiritual connection through yoga.
I found so much more.
For what may genuinely be the first time in my life, I actually found the mind, body, soul connection!
I have gained an appreciation for my body. I’ve started listening to what she really wants.
My yoga training is a strenuous vinyasa training. Lots of power classes, sweat, and poses my body may or may not be ready for.
It was a struggle for the first few months. I showed up on my mat. Heard voices in my head cursing, declaring I hate this and wondering why I was doing it.
The grace and love for my body I have found is all thanks to Jamie, my instructor. She saw me struggling. She saw my discomfort. Time and time again she said
“meet your body where it is.”
“lean into your discomfort.”
“listen to what arises in your mind on the mat. If it’s resistance, let it pass. Don’t hold onto it.”
I listened to Jamie before I listened to my body, thankfully Jamie was saying the things I needed to hear.
In time the resistance stopped, my body got stronger. My body began craving my practice. Some days my body wants a slow easy practice. Other days I feel the craving for a power class, something I never thought I would crave. Of course, let’s be honest… I only desire it once or twice a week, max.
My practice evolved away from being just quiet space on my mat and became a time to move my body. Now I clear my mind while I move my body. It feels liberating.
In the last two months, I have seen my body enjoying poses that I previously only watched as others did, or I did a modification.
The first time I got myself into wheel, I squealed and fell out.
Two weeks ago, I was doing camel and pondered how out of alignment I was, so I asked Kev to take a picture of me in the pose. To my excitement, I looked like I knew what I was doing!!
I’ve learned that Shavasana really is a time to thank your body for what she has done. To allow her to rest. Before I always drifted away in meditation, now I stay with my body and offer her praise and gratitude.
Now when I look in the mirror, I don’t see the wrinkles on my face or the jiggle of my thighs, now
I see my body as perfect the way she is instead of flawed. I thank my body for holding my soul.